March 8, 2020, Habakkuk 1:1-4, 12-14 – Post 3 – ISSL Reflection

VI.
Judgement – Confrontation – Hope

When you think of the Hebrew prophets how do you first characterize their messages?

One of judgement, confrontation, calling attention to what the people’s problem is, or hope?

If we think of it enough, probably all of these, but I suspect, a lot of us think first of judgment?

What of these words of Habakkuk we have heard?

As the people hear Habakkuk, they hear him giving voice to their complaints with God –

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?

Why do you make me see wrongdoing
and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.

So the law becomes slack
and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
therefore judgment comes forth perverted.

VII.
So this prophet stands before the people, before God, between the people and God and voices the cries the people have and maybe have not shouted to God?

That may be a proper role of the prophet – to name the situation, to help the people give voice to their fears, frustrations, and anger. And maybe that can encourage us to do that also.

But do we hear hope here?

VII.


Are you not from of old,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?
You shall not die.
O Lord, you have marked them for judgment;
and you, O Rock, have established them for punishment.

Your eyes are too pure to behold evil,
and you cannot look on wrongdoing;
why do you look on the treacherous,
and are silent when the wicked swallow
those more righteous than they?

Those words are full of questions and perhaps disappointment? Does the prophet help the people to voice their disappointment, frustration, that God has let them down?

Listen once more –

Are you not from of old,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?
You shall not die.

Your eyes are too pure to behold evil,
and you cannot look on wrongdoing;

The will to voice these words to God, may be the evidence of the prophet’s faith and the people’s faith. Their very shouts at God, show a faith and hope.

The prophet is one who can let people know they can still come before God with the hope of being heard.

Can that be a sign of faith?

What words of discouragement, frustration, and yes even hope can we offer today?

charles
{Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}


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